Mount Strachan SOTA
Club members Ralph, Brett and Eric took on the task of activating the summit of Mt. Strachan on July 18. The day was clear and sunny which of course meant it would be a hot day on the slopes. Sure enough the hike was a hot one made worse by the lack of shade along the road which served as our trail. Even the summit had very little shade due to the stunted trees that were growing there. So we were in the blazing sun for most of the day.
The hike up the service road went smoothly but it still took almost 3 hours to reach the south summit and then a further 20 minutes to cross the ridge and descend the gully between the two summits. It was a welcome relief to finally arrive and get to rest a while as we ate lunch. Once rested Ralph started to set up his Buddipole based wire dipole antenna while Eric assembled Brett’s portable 2m Yagi. As soon as the Yagi was assembled and hung on a branch, people were lined up waiting to make a contact. Eric had 5 contacts completed before Ralph finished setting up. Brett followed with 4 more of his own.
Once the HF antenna was ready, Ralph made a few CW contacts on 20m then Brett did a number of sideband contacts. Soon the two hour mark had come and we were all getting overly hot; it was time to pack up and head down. There had been a few groups on the summit but it wasn’t as busy as I remembered from my first visit. But all who came enjoyed the spectacular views from the summit, they were a good reward for the effort needed to get here.
Once the radio gear was packed we started the long hike back down. This went smoothly even the scrambling down and up the rock face between the two summits. The walk down the service road was hot but we had a few lovely patches of shade this time to break the heat. The return took half the time of the ascent and we were back at the car by 4:30. Exhausted and hot but all happy for the adventure. We were already talking about our next one in August!
More photos can be seen here: http://www.scenicart.ca/content/mount-strachan-adventure